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20 September 2011 High-voltage quantum well waveguide solar cells
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Photon absorption, and thus current generation, is hindered in conventional thin-film solar cell designs, including quantum well structures, by the limited path length of incident light passing vertically through the device structure. Optical scattering into lateral waveguide structures provides a physical mechanism to dramatically increase photocurrent generation through in-plane light trapping. However, the insertion of wells of high refractive index material with lower energy gap into the device structure often results in lower voltage operation, and hence lower photovoltaic power conversion efficiency. In this work, we demonstrate that the voltage output of an InGaAs quantum well waveguide photovoltaic device can be increased by employing a novel III-V material structure with an extended wide band gap emitter heterojunction. Analysis of the light IV characteristics from small area test devices reveals that nonradiative recombination components of the underlying dark diode current have been reduced, exposing the limiting radiative recombination component and providing a pathway for realizing solar-electric conversion efficiency of 30% or more in single-junction cells.
© (2011) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Roger E. Welser, Gopal G. Pethuraja, Ashok K. Sood, Oleg A. Laboutin, Mark Chaplin, Van Un, Wayne Johnson, Adam W. Sood, David J. Poxson, Jaehee Cho, E. Fred Schubert, Pradeep Haldar, and Jennifer L. Harvey "High-voltage quantum well waveguide solar cells", Proc. SPIE 8111, Next Generation (Nano) Photonic and Cell Technologies for Solar Energy Conversion II, 81110I (20 September 2011);

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